Brooke Hills Playhouse Season to Begin

The Brooke Hills Playhouse has announced the cast for its 48th season-opening comedy, “Ghost of a Chance,” while also noting a change in the performance times for the show’s second weekend.

According to Julia Barnhart of Wellsburg, president of the Playhouse’s parent organization, the Brooke County Arts Council, the change was necessary because of a scheduling conflict.

Barnhart noted that performances for the first weekend will follow the Playhouse’s usual days and times, with shows at 8 p.m. Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 16. The second weekend of “Ghost of a Chance,” there will be no performance on Friday, June 21, two performances on Saturday, June 22, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. with a final performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23.

“Ghost of a Chance,” a comedy by Flip Kobler and Cindy Marcus, is named for “Chance,” Bethany’s deceased first husband, who still haunts the mountain cabin where he died in a hunting accident. Bethany brings her new fiancé, Floyd, and Floyd’s mother, Verna, to the cabin, and Chance is not happy, making that clear to Bethany, the only one who can see him as he attempts to break up the new couple.

Chelsey Barnhart of Follansbee, the show’s director, reported that the cast includes many Playhouse veterans and one newcomer. The ghostly Chance will be played by Doug Gouldsberry of Moundsville, with Destiny Walsh of Wellsburg portraying his widow, Bethany. Evan Oslund of Wheeling has the role of Floyd, with Diana Mendel of Wellsburg cast as his domineering mother, Verna.

Completing the cast are Playhouse veteran Rob DeSantis of Follansbee as Adam, a prospective buyer for Chance’s cabin, and Kayley Ohler of Wellsburg, making her Brooke Hills debut as Crystal, a flamboyant psychic hired by Bethany to exorcise Chance’s ghost from the cabin.

As rehearsals continue for “Ghost of a Chance,” auditions will be held at the Playhouse this Saturday, June 8, for the third and fourth shows of the 48th season, Auditions for John Patrick’s comedy, “A Bad Year for Tomatoes,” will begin at 10 a.m. Auditions for the annual production for younger actors, Michele L. Vacca’s adaptation of the Brothers Grimm’s beloved tale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” will follow at 11:30 a.m.

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“A Bad Year for Tomatoes” is the story of actress Myra Marlowe, who escapes the big city to settle in a small New England town to write her autobiography. Her efforts are hampered by the pleas of her agent and constant interruptions by nosy neighbors, a local psychic and a country bumpkin suitor. The situation is complicated further by an imaginary, mad sister and a suspicious sheriff.

“A Bad Year for Tomatoes” will be performed the weekends of Aug. 16-18 and 23-25 and calls for a cast of four women and three men.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” calls for a cast of 11, including four older teens — two males and two females, and seven younger children — males or females, portraying the dwarfs.

Actors auditioning for “A Bad Year for Tomatoes” and “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs” will be required to read excerpts from the play selected by the director. Anyone unable to audition for the two productions on Saturday, June 8, should contact the Playhouse at 304-737-3344 by Friday, June 7, to make other arrangements.

The Playhouse season is starting later then usual this year, because of wind damage to the facility in May. Arts Council President Julia Barnhart reports that S and J Contracting of Wheeling has completed the necessary repairs, but the “Save the Barn” fundraising campaign is ongoing, while season passes continue to be sold to cover the Playhouse’s regular expenses.

Checks or money orders for either the Save the Barn fund or season passes should be made payable to the Brooke County Arts Council, along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope, to P. O. Box 186, Wellsburg, WV 26070.

Donations to the Save the Barn campaign should be noted on the memo line. For season passes, patrons should specify how many passes they are ordering for adults, senior citizens and students, and children under 12. This year, the season passes will be available all season long at the pre-season prices of  $50 for adults, $42 for senior citizens and students, and $34 for children under 12, which gives patrons five admissions for the price of four.

Ticket prices at the box office are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $8 for children for non-musicals, and $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $10 for children for musicals. Municipal Mutual Insurance is the Playhouse’s 48th season sponsor.